Page Updated:- Friday, 24 February, 2023.


Earliest 1740-

Black Robin

Open 2020+

Covet Lane


01227 830230

Black Robin 1890

Above postcard, 1890, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.

Black Robin

Above photo, date unknown, with permission from Eric Hartland.

From the Folkestone Herald, 14 January, 1928.

Black Robin floods 1928

Above photo showing the floods in January 1928.

Black Robin 1960

Above photo, August 1960, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Black Robin 1960

Above photo, August 1960, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Black Robin sign 1960

Above sign, August 1960, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Black Robin 1963

Above photo, March 1960, kindly sent by Clive Bowley.

Hunt outside Black Robin 1992

Above photo, November 1992, taken by Gordon Luck and sent by Dougie Moon.

Hunt outside Black Robin 1992

Above photo, November 1992, taken by Gordon Luck and sent by Dougie Moon.

Black Robin at Kingston

Above photo taken by Paul Skelton, 22 Aug 2008.

Black Robin at Kingston

Above photo taken by Paul Skelton, 22 Aug 2008.

Black Robin sign 1984Black Robin sign

Above sign left 1984, sign right date unknown.

With thanks from Roger Pester

Black Robin sign at KingstonBlack Robin sign 1991

Above sign left taken by Paul Skelton, 22 Aug 2008.

Black Robin sign right May 1991.

Above with thanks from Brian Curtis

Black Robin sign 2016Black Robin sign 2017

Above sign left 2016 , sign right August 2017, kindly sent by Ray Hopkins and Roger Pester

Black Robin card

Above Whitbread card, 1973 and series unknown.

Black Robin 2018

Above photo, June 2018, kindly taken and sent by Rory Kehoe.

Above matchbox, circa 1986, kindly sent by Rory Kehoe.


Reference found so far is in the Wingham Division Ale Licence list, which shows the "Black Robin," Kingston, to be re-licensed for the sum of 8 shillings in 1740 indicating that the pub was present before 1740.


Taken from

The "Black Robin" Public House stands at the gateway to the village of Kingston in Kent. Legend has it and many are thought to believe that it is named after a highwayman. But the term 'Black Robin' actually comes from the old Kentish slang for 'highwayman'. Basically similar to the Cockney slang 'Tea Leaf' (Thief). The "Black Robin" pub was used by smugglers and a network of other smuggling gangs as well as highwaymen. The most notorious of all being The Aldington Gang who operated from 1820-1826. They used local pubs to drop off their goods where they would then be sold to people within the community at a price but without the heavy tax. Goods would be unloaded from the Deal, St. Margaret's Bay area and down onto the Romney Marshes. The leader at the time was Cephas Quested who was doing quite well until he and two other gangs were involved in a battle with Customs men (Preventivemen) at the Battle of Brookland in February 1821. The battle took place when the gangs were caught unloading, they still managed to load up their goods while fighting and scatter across the county. Cephas Quested in the confusion of battle turned to a man near him, give him a musket and told him to 'Blow the officer's brains out'. Unfortunately for him, he mistook the man as a collegue and instead turned to Richard Morgan, a midshipman of the blockade force who promptly turned the gun on Quested. Cephas was tried at the Old Bailey on April 17th and later hung at Newgate Prison on 4th July, 1821. George Ransley took over as leader of the gang, he had excellent organisational abilities. According to legend, George was a Ploughman/carter. It is also said that one night there was a fight between gang members, leading to one of their members being murdered in the "Black Robin." He dragged outside and left on the road. Locals of the area and passers by have been witness to the sound of groans, possibly from the murdered gang member but no-one knows for certain. Many incidents have happened at this junction over the years and the eerie sounds that can sometimes be heard, could be from any number of sources. George Ransley and his gang were eventually caught on 4th July, 1826 on the beach at Dover. Ironically five years to the day Quested was hung. Richard Morgan the midshipman was killed and Ransley was arrested on suspicion of the murder. If found guilty, the charges carried the death penalty but their lawyer, a local gentleman from Maidstone, got the sentences reduced to transportation to Tasmania or Van Dieman's Land as it was known then by Europeans, because the crime had occurred in the dark and the actual circumstances were difficult to prove. George proved an excellent farmer, a good administrator, was granted a conditional pardon on 22 June 1838. His brother-in-law (Samuel Bailey) was also on board the same ship (Governor Ready) as was fellow gang members Thomas Gillham and James Hogben. Ransley was given 500 acres of land and his wife and ten children were allowed to sail out to join him. He farmed at River Plenty, Hobart. He died there in 1856. The "Black Robin" is still there today and has a model of a smuggler / highwayman beside the bar.


Reports of COUNTRYWIDE ROBBERIES reported in Northampton Mercury 16 October 1802, INCLUDE:-

Friday night some villains entered the public-house at Black-Robin's Corner, near Barham, and carried off a quantity of provisions, liquors, etc. They had the audacity to take a cart belonging to a person in the neighbourhood with which they removed the stolen goods, and got off undiscovered.


Kentish Gazette 12 October 1802.

Friday night last some villains entered the public house at Black Robin's corner near Barham, and carried off a quantity of provisions, Liquors &c. they had, we hear, the audacity to take a cart belonging to a person in the neighbourhood, with which they removed the stolen goods, and got off undiscovered.


John Bull, Saturday 21 September 1844.


This important institution terminated on Saturday last, its first annual meeting, at Canterbury. In our last paper we noticed the proceedings of the earlier part of the week, and we have now briefly to mention some of the most interesting subjects which were subsequently brought before the Society.

Dr. Pettigrew, in his remarks on the barrows discovered on Breach Down and in Bourne Park, fixed their date to be the fifth or sixth century. But in respect to one of the skeletons, he stated distinctly that its age did not exceed half a century; and from the position in which it was found, gave rise to curious conjecture. It lay only a few inches under the surface, and to all appearances had never received burial rites. It was known that a notorious highway robber and murderer, who was still preserved in memory by the sign of “Black Robin’s Corner,’’ once selected that part for his unholy deeds; and it was just probable that this skeleton was the remains of one of his unfortunate victims. The skeleton was that of a man who had died in the prime of life, and by his side a spear or knife was found, which probably had been that by which he had been brought to an un-timely end. A unique spear head was discovered by the side of a female skeleton, which was very remarkable, as no such thing had ever before been found with a female. Another interesting feature of the learned Doctor’s remarks was, that of the teeth of a number of the skeletons being worn down in consequence of their having subsisted on vegetable food, or peas, or beans. But the most remarkable of all was the preservation of hair in all cases where the parties had not been shaven. It mattered not how old the remains were, hair was the last thing that perished. He related an instance of a young lady having beautiful ringlets of hair, who, by twisting them in her month had a hair ball formed in her, double the size of a walnut; which, by causing inflammation in the stomach, was followed by death. It behoved gentlemen also to take care as they were in the habit of biting their whiskers. (Laughter.)


From the Kentish Gazette, 31 October 1848.


THAT the Lord of the said Manor has appointed to hold a COURT BARON for the said Manor on MONDAY the 10th of November next, at Ten o'clock in the forenoon, at the House commonly called or known by the name or sign of the "Black Robin," in the parish of Kingston, within the said Manor; at which time and place all and every of the Tenants within the said Manor are required to attend, and do their respective suits and services, according to the customs of the said Manor, and to bring with them their last quitrent receipts, to enter their estates, and to pay their respective quitrents and reliefs, otherwise the usual proceedings will be immediately taken the recovery thereof.


Steward of the said Manor.

Lincoln Inn, London,

23rd day of October, 1848.


Kentish Gazette, 11 April 1854.

Stealing Coke - A Serious Charge.

Edmund File, jun., farmer, stealing five hundred weight of coke, the property of Ernest Augustus Stephenson, at Kingston, on the 12th January, 1864.

Mr. Rose prostituted:- Mr. Barrow and Mr. Francis defended the prisoner.

Mr. Rose in opening the case stated that the prisoner was charged with stealing a quantity of coke. The prosecutor lives at Higham House, in the parish of Kingston, and the prisoner was a small farmer living in the adjoining parish of Barham. On the 12th of January last, the prisoner was employed by the prosecutor to bring him a ton of coke from the gas-works at Canterbury; he had been so employed previously. It appeared, that he went with a waggon to the gas works and obtained the coke, the prosecutor having previously ordered it. When at the gas works, the prisoner ordered 5 cwt. of coke to be put in sacks, although there was plenty of room for it loose in the waggon; 15 cwts. were put loose in the waggon. After that the prisoner went and offered to pay for the coke to the clerk, but he said it was not necessary as Mr. Stephenson had ordered it and would therefore pay for it.

He then left with the waggon and arrived at the prosecutor's about five o’clock in the afternoon, when he proceeded to put the loose coke into the cellar. While this was going on, the prosecutor was walking about 100 yards from his yard gate, when ha saw something lying under a tarpaulin; he lifted the tarpaulin up, and found five sacks, exactly the number which the prisoner received at the gas-house. He put his hand under the tarpaulin, and felt the sacks, which he believed to be filled with coke, from the peculiarly crisp feel it possessed. The prosecutor then went back to his house, and told the prisoner of what he had seen, to which the prisoner replied, that the sacks contained coals and coke which he had purchased; and that he had bought 2 cwt. of coke at the gas-works. The prosecutor expressed his surprise that so small a quantity was sold by the gas company.

The prisoner answered:— "Men that are at work night and day are glad to get a shilling, if they can."

Now, what was meant by that statement, he (Mr. Rose) could hardly say, unless it was that the coke had been sold out of the ordinary way to the prisoner.

However, whatever was meant by that statement, it was quite clear, that when the prisoner went to the clerk and offered to pay for Mr. Stephenson's coke, he did not say anything about the 2 cwt. of coke alleged to have been bought by him. The prosecutor did not arrive at his house until after the prisoner had commenced depositing the coke into the cellar, and was therefore unable to say how much he had put in.

Such were the facts of the case; five sacks of coke were found 50 yards from the prosecutor's yard gates, exactly the number received at the gas-works. Then again there was the fact, that there was no necessity for any portion of the coke being placed in sacks. Besides, the prisoner had made a statement that he had bought 2 cwt. of coke at the gas-works, but he would call witnesses to prove that he had done nothing of the kind. It was not necessary to prove that the whole of the coke seen by the side of the road was the property of the prosecutor, in order to convict the prisoner; but on the contrary, if the jury believed any portion of it belonged to then they would convict the prisoner.

The learned gentleman then called witnesses in support of his statements, but as their evidence was similar, in every respect
of that given by them before the magistrates, and which was published in extenso at the time, we only give now the fresh points raised in the course of cross-examination.

The prosecutor repeated his evidence.

Cross-examined by Mr. Barrow:— Could not say how long it was before the coke brought by the prisoner that he had observed the quantity of coke in the cellar. The sacks of coke he saw lying in the road were opposite his gardener's cottage. There is a fall in the road leading from the main road to the prosecutor's house. Was not aware that on previous occasions the prisoner had left a portion of his load at the side of the main road rather than take it down the fall. Did not look into any of the sacks, but certainly felt four, and was perfectly prepared to swear that they contained coke, and not coal. He told witness he had a sack of coal for Coltham; did not mention any other name, but might have added, "Coltham, at the Robin." The prisoner did not come to witness and ask to have the coke in his cellar weighed; but he was aware that he had called at his home end saw his servant; that was the day after the occurrence. No application was made to him for that purpose, nor had it been weighed.

Re-examined:— The distance from the lodge to the turnpike road is about 500 yards, while the sacks of coke were lying about 100 yards from the lodge.

Edward Dadds stated what occurred at the gas-works when the prisoner received the coke on the day named.

Cross-examined:— Was discharged from the gas-works shortly after the occurrence, on suspicion of having sold coke and not accounted for it; but had since been taken back again. Did not sell the prisoner any coke; he only received it of him for allowance. Did not receive 3s. of the prisoner. Believed the prisoner asked witness the price of coke. In the course of the day witness gave his mates a share of the beer bought with the allowance money given by the prisoner. On previous occasions the prisoner had taken coke away in sacks. On the Monday following witness went over to Coltham, but did not tell him that the prisoner bought loose coke or a sack of him. Went to prisoner’s home, but did not tell his wife that witness wanted him to go to Mr. Stephenson's and say he only paid 1s. to witness for allowance. Had never stated that he had sold the prisoner 2 cwt. of coke on the day in question.

Re-examined:— On previous occasions the prisoner had left 3 or 4 cwt. of the ton for Mr. Stephenson until the following day.

It was a common thing to receive allowance from persons whom the men in the gas-works carried up the coke.

Mr. Stephenson re-called; 4s. was to be paid the prisoner for the carriage of the coke from Canterbury to the prosecutor's house.

John White and Wm. Eldridge having been examined, Mr. James Sladden Browne was called and deposed that he was clerk to the Gas Work Company.— Remembered a person coming on the 12th of Jan. for a ton of coke for Mr. Stephenson. Produced the counterpart of the check given on that occasion; none was sold or delivered without the check. Saw File on that occasion, at the window of witness's office; he came to pay for the coke for Mr. Stephenson, but as that gentleman had ordered it, he objected to receive the money, as there was some suspicion against the accused in connection with Mr. Stephenson's coke on previous occasions. Saw the waggon pass out of the yard, and thought it was an extraordinary thing for coke to be placed in sacks when there was plenty of room in the body of the waggon for it. Mentioned the quantities of coke sold on the day named in the indictment, and the parties to whom it was sold. Every morning and night the coke was drawn out of the retorts into the cellar. No one was authorised to sell coke or take money for it, but witness.

Cross-examined:— They had had suspicions of coke being taken, but never realised them. He explained the reason why Dadds had been discharged and taken on again. The coke was weighed as it was delivered, at least it was placed in baskets made expressly to contain a half-cwt.

George Fagg, a lad, remembered watching something for he prisoner in the middle of January. The latter asked him if he would watch three sacks of coke for him and earn 1d. until his boy came. It was between 5 and 6 o'clock, he sat down on the sacks, and took care of them for about a quarter of an hour, when the prisoner's boy arrived with the cart, and the sacks were placed in it. While sitting on one of the sacks, three pieces of coke fell out.— The sacks were quite full.

Cross-examined:— The three pieces of coke all came out if the same sack.

Thos. E. Quested, constable of Barham, served the prisoner with a summons to attend before the magistrates about the coke, when the latter said it was not 5 sacks of coke, but 2 sacks of coke and 3 cwt. of coal.

Mr. Barrow then submitted to the Court that the charge alleged against the prisoner was not one of larceny, as the asking of the coke did not embrace a trespass. There must be some act to put an end to the bailment before a larceny should be committed. In the present case, the allegation was, that the five sacks contained coke; each sack formed a bulk of itself, and there were five distinct deliveries. Before, therefore, a larceny could be committed, of that coke, it was necessary that the prisoner should have broken the bulk of some one sack. He cited the case of The Queen v. Porter, 20 Law Journal, p. 101, in support of his argument, and other cases.

Mr. Fransis followed on the same side, observing that the principle involved in the objection could not be doubted, seeing that there was a long list of decisions of the courts in favour of it.

Mr. Rose replied, and the Court refused to allow the objection.

Mr. Barrow then addressed the jury at some length in defence; after which the following witnesses were examined:—

Wm. Filmer was in the service of Mr. Horn, at the "Red Lion," in January last. The prisoner borrowed three sacks to put some coal in; the same day the sacks were filled with coal and left in the stable. On the following Saturday, the prisoner brought witness's master some fodder in a waggon; in the afternoon, the prisoner brought three empty sacks into the stable, when witness filled them with the coals contained in the other sacks. He heard a waggon go on just after; did not see the waggon.

Evans Cock remembered going with the prisoner to fetch Mr. Stephenson's coke. Took two ton of fodder in the waggon to the "Red Lion," and some empty sacks. Then went to the gas-works; after being there a short time the prisoner came, and witness heard him say he wanted some coke for himself; he also asked the price. One man said it was 18d. and one 16d. The last tally he heard call was 32, which basket witness carried up himself. Did not see any money pass from the prisoner to one of the men. When the waggon was filled, witness went with it to the "Red Lion," when the prisoner got on to the waggon and said he had some coal to take. Witness then went down into the town, and subsequently returned and caught up to the waggon. Just before reaching Mr. Stephenson's spouse, the prisoner said he should take his coal and coke out; he did so, and also hailed the chains and tarpaulin out. It was a bad road all round the home and not fit to go with a load. After delivering the prosecutor's coke, they went to the "Black Robin," where one sack was delivered. Before going to the "Black Robin," the five sacks were put into the waggon again. Upon caching Covett Lane, three sacks were left there; witness had one of the sacks of coal, and paid the prisoner again for it on the next week. Witness took his sack home in his brother's waggon.

Cross-examined:— Lives with the prisoner's father as waggoner. Did not tee the coal put on the waggon at the "Red Lion." Witness’s sack was not much more than half-fall.

Wm. Foreman:- In January last was in the prisoner’s employ; went to Mr. Cox's farm got a horse and took it to the prisoner’s farm and placed it in a cart. Then went to Covett Lane and took up three sacks. The witness Fagg assisted him. Afterwards drove to the prisoner’s house, and emptied the sacks into the coal-hole:— one of the sacks contained coke, and the other two coal.

Crosse-examined:. —Two of the sacks were not quite full; the third was.

James Coultham, landlord of the "Black Robin, Kingston:- Remembered the 12th of January, when the prisoner brought him a sack of coke. The witness Dadds called at his home the following Monday, and asked where young Mr. File lived, as he wanted to see him about the coke he had for Mr. Stepheson, for he had got turned away from the gas-works respecting it.

Witness then said what for?

Dadds replied:- "After Mr. File had the ton of coke for Mr. Stephenson, he asked for a hundred for himself. I said he could have it, if he paid allowance. He then asked what he was to fetch: I said—not anything, as it will cause suspicion with the governor,—but leave the money with us. He gave me a shilling and I told him to take a sack of coke."

Cross-examined:— Witness is brother-in-law to the prisoner. The conversation took place outside witness’s door.

A number of persons were called to character, who spoke highly of the prisoner for honesty and integrity.

Mr. Rose replied on the defence set up, and pointed out its inconsistencies; after which the Chairman summed up very briefly. It was quite clear that if the defence set up was true, the prisoner had obtained 2 cwt of coke of the man Dadds surreptitiously, as the delivery of the ton of coke was clearly shown by the servants of the Gas Company.

The jury then retired to consider their verdict. After a short absence they returned into Court, with a verdict of "Not guilty."


Kentish Gazette. Tuesday 05 August 1856.


A painful degree of excitement was occasioned in these two towns, and surrounding neighbourhood, on Sunday, by the discovery of the murdered bodies of two young females named Back, of the respective ages of 17 and 19. It appears that a Neapolitan named Tedea Bedenies, (sic Dedea Redanies) in the 4th company of the 2nd battalion, 2nd regiment British Swiss Legion, now stationed at Shorncliffe, had for some time past been paying his addresses to Caroline Back, aged 19, the daughter of a laundress, residing in Albion Place, Dover. He paid a visit to the house on Saturday evening, and while there quarrelled with her, and accused her of carrying on a correspondence with a sergeant of the same regiment. In consequence she returned him his portrait which he had given her, and on taking it he said it was no good. Maria was present during the time. He returned to the house at three o’clock in the morning, and prevailed on Caroline to consent to go with him to the camp to spend the day, accompanied by her sister Maria. They cleaned themselves and left for that purpose; and were seen passing the "Royal Oak" on the road at about five in the morning. They were remarked as being particularly clean and tidy, and one of them wearing lavender boots. Nothing more was seen of them till past seven o’clock when a man named Curling, who worked on the South-Eastern Railway, having been to Dover to see a friend off, was returning, when he sat down on a bank bordering the sea, and took out a newspaper to read. Seeing something lying on the grass at a short distance, in a hollow close by the footpath, leading to Folkestone, he called out, thinking it was a person asleep, and finding no response went to the spot and discovered one of the murdered bodies. He ran to a friend whom he had left a little behind, and then they discovered the second body lifeless, at about twelve paces from the other.

This was about 2 1/2 miles from Folkestone and 3 1/2 from Dover. They immediately gave information to Superintendent Steer, of the former place, who with assistance got the bodies removed to the nearest cottage; and Dr. Bateman, who was called in, pronounced death to have resulted from the stabs which the deceased had received. The elder sister had received four stabs near the heart, three of which penetrated the lungs, and any one of the three was calculated to prove fatal. Her clothes were also much disordered. The younger girl, Maria, appeared to have struggled hard with her assailant. Several of her fingers were severely cut through her gloves, by some sharp knife; and various of the wounds which she had received in the upper part of her person, were pronounced to be mortal. The condition of the elder was also such as to awaken suspicions of the close intimacy that had existed; but whether any violence had been exercised in this respect, we are at present unable to state.

The supposed murderer was seen running through the village of Capel-le-Ferne shortly after the occurrence, wearing a military cap and a black mantle turned inside out, belonging to one of the females. Various reports were in circulation as to the places at which he was afterwards seen, and among them this city, but we could learn nothing authentic of this. He was traced yesterday to Black Robin’s Corner, near Barham Downs, and thence to a cottage in Broome Park, where he had some bread and cheese, for which he gave the woman of the house sixpence, he afterwards went to the house of a person named Atwood, at Lower Hardres, where he wrote two letters—then went to the "Horse Shoes" public-house and had some beer, and posted two letters, one of which was addressed to Mrs. Caroline Back, the mother of the deceased, and the other to Lieut. Schmid, surgeon of his regiment. There all clue of him was lost, notwithstanding the vigilance of Superintendents Walker, Stokes, Robins, and Steer; but the letters were obtained and impounded; and we should have thought that means would have been obtained for learning their contents, but neither the post master nor the magistrate to whom they were taken felt himself justified in opening them; upon which they were forwarded to their destination, by special messengers, with the view of learning the contents. The murderer is 25years of age, 5ft. 6in. high, with black hair, no whiskers and small black moustache.

Mr. Delasaux opened an inquiry on the bodies of the deceased yesterday, and after taking some evidence to justify a farther inquiry, adjourned the sitting.


The active steps adopted by the different Superintendents left little chance of the murderer long escaping detection. It appears that in consequence of the in formation they disseminated, parties were on the look out in every direction, and whither also various individuals were despatched to arrest the fugitive. The last seen of him, according to the above account, was at Lower Hardres, between twelve and one yesterday afternoon. Between three and four a man stopped Mr. Lake, of Milton, and asked him for work, and while doing so, he suddenly pointed to the approach of the murderer, saying “here comes the fellow.” But how he came to dive into the subject so readily, we are at a loss to comprehend, as was Mr. Lake, who had said nothing to him about the affair; nor did he know who the man was. At that moment, a number of Mr. Lake’s men were also on the qui vive, they having received intimation of the horrid crime and the probability of the murderer coming that way. He had first come in the direction of Howfield and crossed the viaduct, and suspecting that he was the object of their observation and pursuit, he stabbed himself three times in the breast before he was reached, and fell to the ground bathed in blood. The men had felt at first a little intimidated when they saw him flourishing the knife, and something of a stiletto form; but seeing what he did they bounced upon him and at once made him secure. The attendance of Mr. Bond, surgeon, of Chartham, was procured, but he could not tell whether the wounds would prove mortal. His apprehensions were that an internal haemorrhage might be going on; the result of which might easily be conjectured.

Information was speedily conveyed to Canterbury, and Superintendent Clements went and took charge of the man, brought him to Canterbury, and conveyed him to the hospital, where he was left in care of a police constable.

The murderer, and would be suicide, was examined by Mr. Reid, who could not pronounce the stabs he had given himself fatal, though he was equally at a loss whether the internal flow of blood might not terminate in that. It being thought advisable to have the man undisturbed, no unnecessary questions were put to him; but the attendance of a gentleman was obtained, as interpreter, and to him the prisoner confessed that he had done something very dreadful. Everything necessary was done to revive the prisoner; and at nine o'clock he had much improved, and there were hopes that his recovery would take place.

The murderer is described as indicating nothing very furious; his height is little over five feet and a half, slight in stature, small features, and somewhat sickly in appearance.

When arrested he had with him the black capes belonging to his unfortunate victims; one of which he carried on his arm, and the other he wore, evidently to hide his military jacket. This cape had three perforations on the left breast—whether through stabbing himself, or one of his unfortunate victims when she wore it, we are unable to state. Had there been a more efficient parish constabulary his apprehension would have been effected earlier; for at five o’clock yesterday morning, the murderer was found asleep at Black Robin’s Corner by two boys, who roused him. Had there been a vigilant parish constable he would have been on the alert and soon followed in his track. This like many other cases shows the importance of having an efficient county constabulary, with prompt and methodical means of communication. We find no fault with the superintendents—they did all they could, aided by our own city police, one of whom (Inspector Spratt) posted as far as Sittingbourne and had to trudge his way home on foot. This ought not to have been. He should have been mounted, or at least had a vehicle.

A melancholy gloom has been thrown over the minds of many who knew the unfortunate deceased, as they were very respectable young women for their sphere in life and bore a good character.

Further reading click here.


Kentish Gazette 09 March 1869.


A delightful evening was spent by the country lads and lasses at the famous old "Black Robin" Inn, on the night of Tuesday week, in consequence of the worthy landlord (Mr. Coltham), having thrown open his room for a dance.

The room was beautifully decorated by Miss Coltham.

After a breakfast served up in "mine host's" best style, the party broke up, all highly delighted with their evenings entertainment.


From the Canterbury Journal, Kentish Times and Farmers' Gazette, Saturday 3 October 1896.


At the Comity Magistrates' Clerks' office, at Canterbury, on Thursday, Henry Fullick and Walkin Philips, both of the Army Service Corps, were charged on remand with assaulting and beating William Henry Rose, on the 16th September.

Fullick pleaded guilty, and Philips not guilty.

Prosecutor, who is the landlord of the "Black Robin," Kingston, deposed that about half-past nine on the night of the 16th, prisoners and three other soldiers came to his house and were supplied with beer. He closed the house at 10 p.m., and told every one to leave. He went to the back of the house and a few minutes afterwards heard some one knock at the front door demanding some beer. He called out "Serve no one, it has gone ten," He went and found the prisoners outside the house, and requested them to go after their comrades. Philips then threw him down by catching hold of his legs and Fullick struck him over the head with a belt or something of that description. He was wounded and covered with blood, but he got away from them and went indoors. He afterwards went to the camp and had his wounds dressed. He had since been medically attended. The prisoners were not drunk. Philips sat on his neck and held him down while Fullick struck him, he did not think Philips struck him. Replying to Fullick, witness said he did not strike him.

By Philips:- He went hack to the house and fetched a gun for for self defence because prisonetrs broke a hurdle and threatened him.

P.C. Luckhurst deposed to apprehending Fullick, who was covered with blood. On the way to the police station Fullick said it was a wonder they did not kill the old man. Both the prisoners were the worse for liquor.

William Hunt, Corporal of the Military Mounted Police, said that on the night of the 16th September he placed men round the camp to watch for the two prisoners. Fullick, who was brought to him, was covered with blood. Later he arrested Philips, and handed him over to the civil police. Both the prisoners were sober.

Corporal Darock, of the Medical Staff Corps, stated that prosecutor was brought to him on the night of the 16th September. He had wounds on his head and bridge of his nose. Witness dressed the wounds and put in some stitches. The wounds might have been caused by a belt.

Fullick said he would not have struck the landlord if he had not struck him first. They both fell to the ground, and in the struggle the landlord bit his hand. The landlord got a gun and said he would shoot the lot of them if they did not hurry home.

Philips said he heard Fullick cry out "You coward, you are biting me let me go, and fight like a man."

The Chairman said it was a very cruel thing to strike the landlord as Fullick did, as it might have led to a more serious result. He would be sentenced to two months' hard labour, and Phillips to one month's hard labour.


Dover Express 07 February 1902.

The first house in Kingston, is the "Black Robin Inn," an ancient house which for more than two centuries was held in the family of the Pilchers, a descendant of whom is the host there now. "Black Robin" is rather a peculiar name—a rara avis. (rare bird) As we never heard of a robin of that colour, we presume the name of the Inn has been changed from its old title, "Black Robber" for the sake of respectability at the risk of incongruity. Years ago the "Black Robber" appeared on the signboard, and tradition has it that that objectionable individual had a den on the side of the Downs from which he used to issue forth to terrorise and gather booty from travellers on that lonely part of the Dover road.


From Folkestone Hythe Sandgate and Cheriton Herald

Saturday June 26, 1926: (under Rural District News - BARHAM column):


We regret to announce the death, on Sunday, at the Black Robin Inn, Kingston, of Mr William Henry ROSE.

Deceased who was seventy-eight years of age was widely respected. He had been proprietor of the Black Robin Inn, which is known to thousands of the travelling public, for thirty years. The hostelry has been in possession of the same family for generations.

A man of fine stature, the late Mr ROSE served for twenty-one years in the 1st Life Guards, retiring with an exemplary record. Of a cheery disposition he had a kindly word for all, and his death removes a well-beloved figure.

The funeral took place on Monday in the Churchyard of Kingston, the Rector (the Rev. R.V.POTTS), officiating.

The mourners were:- Mr Alf ROSE (son), Miss ROSE (daughter), Mrs H. ROSE (daughter-in-law), Mr A. ROSE (nephew), Mr T. CARLISLE, Miss READ, Mr SETTERFIELD, Mr H. BAKER and many of the villagers.

There were floral tributes from:- Alf, Lill, and the girls; Freda, May; Arthur and Emme; the Rector and Miss POTTS, Sybil and Ethel CORNISH; Minnie and Girlie; Mrs G. E. Saville YOUNG and Master Saville YOUNG; Captain and Mrs W. T. STONE; Miss A. HODGES-MARLEY; Mr and Mrs BARRY; Mr and Mrs CHARLTON; Mr and Mrs CARTER; Major MEAKIN, J.P. and Mrs MEAKIN; the churchwardens of Kingston; Major and Mrs TATERSALL (Charlton Park); George SETTERFIELD and family; Tommy and Harry; Mr Alfred PARKER; and Harry KELLY, and the boys; Mr C. COTHAM (Barham) efficiently carried out the funeral arrangements.


From the Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate, and Cheriton Herald, Saturday, 14 August, 1926.


On Saturday a quiet wedding took place at the Parish Church, the contracting parties being Mr. Thomas Carlisle, of Kingston (late sergt-major in the Royal Air Force) and Miss Minnie Rose (daughter of the late Mr. W. H. Rose, of the "Black Robin Inn.") The Rector (the Rev. R. U. Potts) officiated. The bride, who was given away by her brother (Mr. Alfred Rose), was attired in a grey silk dress with a deep lace fringe of the same colour. Mr Herbert Baker, of Kingston, was best man. After the ceremony a reception was held at the home of the bride, a large number of guests being present. Several useful presents were received.


From the Folkestone, Hythe, Sandgate and Cheriton Herald, Saturday 22 January 1927.


At the parish church of St. Giles, the Rector (the Rev. R. U. Potts) officiating, Mr. Herbert Baker formerly a police officer at Barham was married to Miss Frances Rose, who had been brought up from childhood by her grandfather, the late and much respected proprietor of the well-known wayside inn, the "Black Robin." After the ceremony and reception was held at the "Black Robin," the home of Mrs. Carlisle, the bride's aunt. A number of valuable presents were received. Later in the day the happy pair left for Cranbrook, where the bridegroom is now stationed.


Dover Express, Friday 10 August 1928.

Motor Fatality at Barham.

Car Turns a Double Somersault.

On Tuesday afternoon, a terrible motor accident took place at the "Black Robin" turning at Kingston. A car, which contains 7 people, in turning the corner, overturned, and after turning a double somersault, fell into a field. One little boy, age 8 years, named Wood, was killed, and others of the occupants seriously injured. Both the little boy who was killed and his brother, who was badly injured, live at 4, Albany flats, Dover, with their mother, but had been away for some time with their mother, who was fruitpicking. The father lives in London.

The Deputy Coroner for East Kent, Mr. A. K. Mowll, held the inquest at the "Black Robin Inn," Kingston, on Thursday morning. The foreman of the jury was Captain William Thomas Stone.

Leonard Wood, of 27, Military Road, Canterbury clothing outfitter's assistant, identified the body as that of his son, Leonard Oliver Rowland Wood. Before the accident the deceased had been living with his mother at Milestone Farm, Patrixbourne. He was 8 years of age. He, witness, came down from London to Canterbury to spend the weekend with his wife. His two sons, the deceased and his younger brother, had been staying with their grandmother, Mrs. Williams, and they went back to Patrixbourne on Monday evening. On Tuesday they were in Canterbury. As they had 20-minutes to wait for the 1 o'clock 'bus they went into the "Coach and Horses," Saint George's Street, Canterbury. They they met Mr. Ernest George Smith, who was in company with an old friend, Mr. Franks Stent. Mr. Stent suggested driving them back as far as the "Gate Inn" at the junction of the old New Dover Road, about 200 or 300 yards from where they were staying. He knew that Mr. Smith was the owner and driver of the car, a 1924 Morris-Cowley. He was not sure whether the hood was up or not when they left St. George's Picture Theatre. Mr. Smith was driving and his brother-in-law was next to him. Witness and his wife and a Mr. Hewitt were in the back seats. Then went on to the "Gate Inn." He arrange with his wife to go to the hut to get some tea for the party. He had a drink at the "Gate" and thought the others did as well. When they left the "Gate" at about 2:30 p.m. they agree to go to Bridge in the car. They went to the "Red Lion," where they had some tea. They then decided to go to the "Black Robin," Kingston, for tea. He sat behind the driver and he thought Mr. Smith's brother was next to the driver and Mr. Stent sat next to Mr. Smith. The two boys were standing on the floor of the car between witness's legs and there were five adults and two boys in the four seater car. They turned into the road known as "Bonnie Bush Hill," which led from the Dover Road to Kingston on the way to the Elham Valley Road. The boys were very excited. They were not going fast. They approach the corner, and as they were taking the bend the driver seemed to lose himself momentarily, but he did not think the driver could have averted the accident. He thought, however, that he had lost his head. He blamed himself for allowing the boys to go in the car. The driver suddenly jammed on the brakes, the car slewed round on the road and turned over two or three times. It turned over in the field and appeared to have turned a double somersault. Everybody was thrown out. Witness saw that is eldest son was dead, and the youngest son, Mr. Smith's brother and Mr. Stent were taken to the Canterbury hospital. They all went there, but the body was left in charge of the police. He was practically certain that the hood was down at the time.

Percy Hewitt, 39, Kimberley Road, Upper Edmonton, London said he was a musical instrument maker and brother-in-law to the Smiths. They had had some drinks, but will quite sober. His brother-in-law was a cinematograph operator. He had been driving a car for about 4 or 5 years and he believed he had a clean licence. They only had tea at the "Red Lion." When they left there Mr. Arthur Smith was sitting in front with the driver. He thought Mr. Wood sat next to witness and Mr. Stent next to him. The boys were standing up between Mr. Wood's legs. He did not know the rate they were going, but he thought they were doing about 15 miles an hour. At the time of the accident it felt as though the driver was putting the brakes on as they got to the corner. He did not think the driver got any response from the steering wheel and the next witness remembered was standing up in the field. He did not think the driver was going too fast and about half a dozen cars passed them after they left Bridge. He did not think the driver could have done anything to avoid the accident.

Ernest Mummery, of Pudbrook House, Kingston, a farm labourer, said he was in a meadow about 200 yards from the scene of the accident. He did not see the car going round the road, but he heard a bang and saw the car in the air. It seems to twist in the air and fall right over. He thought that the driver did not know the corner which was a very dangerous one. He had seen an accident at the same spot before, and a fatal accident had also occurred there. He sent for Dr. Wilson. He thought the driver was quite sober.

P.C. G. H. Castle, K.C.C., stationed at Barham, said when he arrived he found the hood of the car down. The driver was sober. From his enquiries he found that the party left the "Gate Inn" at 3 p.m. and the "Red Lion" at 4:10. The accident occurred about 4:55. The foot brake was in good order, and it appeared that the front brake had been applied. An R.A.C. man examined the car which was in first gear.

Dr. J. McLaren, M.D., said he examined the body and found a lacerated scalp wound and a fracture of the base of the skull. He also found other abrasions. In his opinion the deceased died from a fracture of the skull.

The Jury returned a verdict of "Death from Misadventure."


Dover Express, Friday 23 March 1934.

THE EAST KENT FOXHOUNDS will meet at 11.30 a.m. on Friday. March 23rd, at Acryse Schools. Monday, March 26th, at the "Black Robin," Kingston.

Thursday, March 29th, at the "Gate Inn," West Wood.

Thursday, April 5th, at Penny Pot, Denge.

On Monday, April 2nd (Easter Monday), the Hunt point-to-point races will be held at Brabourne, commencing at 1.30 p.m.

THE WEST STREET HUNT will meet at 12 noon each day on Tuesday. March 27th, at Stodmarsh, Thursday, March 29th, at the "Horse and Hound," (sic) Herne.

Tuesday, April 3rd at the Dower House, Knowlton.

To finish the Season.

The West Street Hunt point-to-point races will be held at Whitfield on Saturday, 24th March; first race at 1.50 p.m.

April 2nd.—East Kent Hunt point-to-point races at Brabourne; first race, 1.30 p.m.

West Street Hunt Damage Fund dance at the "Lord Warden Hotel," Dover, at 10 p.m. Tickets from Mrs. Monins, Ringwould House, near Dover.


From the Kentish Gazette, 15 February, 2001.

Black Robin licensee, Jill White

Licensee Jill White (above) takes refuge from the white-water rapids of the Nailbourne as it races past her "Black Robin" pub at Kingston.

Ms. White, who has just lost a planning battle to close the pub, was optimistically showing a "business as usual" sign.

Her pub has been marooned in flood water since November, but the latest deluge was the worst.


From the Dover Express, Thursday 8 May, 2008. (Advertising)

The ideal job for a food lover.

Nick Holt

Nick Holt, 33, from Canterbury, has recently become the new head chef at the Black Robin, Kingston, near Canterbury.


Job description:

I am very much a hands-on chef and start the day dealing with any paperwork. I will then compile the menus, check the food requirements and order what is needed.

I usually change the menu every couple of days so there is always plenty of variety for our customers.

Most of the food is provided by local farms as the owner of the Black Robin is a farmer. All the food is fresh and we primarily use seasonal fruit and vegetables so some of the menu choices are governed by the time of year.

Everything is cooked to order and I will do virtually all the preparing and cooking, although I have an assistant.

Some days are busier than others. For instance, it can get a bit hectic if we are having a large function. We can do buffets for around 50 and up to 100 for a stand-up reception.


How many hours a week do you work?

I work five-and-a-half days a week on a split shift system, from 9.30am to 3pm and 5.30pm to 10pm, so it's about 55.


What qualifications and experience do you need?

I've been in catering since I was 17. I went to Thanet College for three years to study as a chef, but originally started on a work placement at "Wallet's Court", St Margaret at Cliffe, when I was growing up in Dover. I achieved the City & Guilds qualifications 7061 and 7062, as well as an advanced cookery diploma and a 711 patisserie certificate. Since qualifying I have worked in Ireland and Oxford but wanted to come back to my roots.


How much could a newly-qualified chef expect to earn?

It would probably be between 14,000 and 17,000, depending on who he or she was working for and where.


What made you pursue this career?

I've always wanted to cook. I expect it's my mother's fault - every time it rained I had to stay home and make gingerbread!


What personal skills are important?

You must love food and be able to work as a leader and as part of a team and be a stickler for hygiene in your kitchen. You need to be fit as the hours are long and you spend a great deal of time working in a hot kitchen. It is also important to have a creative and artistic talent because food presentation is essential.


Best and worst things about the job?

It is fun trying out new dishes and having satisfied customers who come back time and again. And it's good when there's someone else to do the washing up! Sometimes the unsocial hours can affect my private life.


From accessed 17 June 2015.


The inn people called after a highwayman who terrorised this area until he was caught and hanged. A life size effigy of "Black Robin" stands in the lounge bar of the inn. Apart from the pub being haunted by the ghost of that outlaw, it is also home to the ghost of the daughter of a former proprietor. She had been attacked nearby and seriously injured by a man who escaped. Folks took the woman back to the "Black Robin." She died shortly afterwards from her injuries. The ghost of this woman, witnesses have seen, on many occasions and she is always sobbing.


From an email received 20 April 2016.

I found your website while researching my family history its been very helpful filling in some gaps.

I can tell you that the "Black Robin" was originally built by the Pilcher family and that all of the landlords until at least 1933 are related by marriage.

The Plicher and the Browings are related by marriage and Thomas Browing married into the File family and Edmund File is his son in law I believe.

Edmund File is the maternal great grandfather of William Henry Rose and James Coltham is also William's uncle with Thomas Carlise being William's son in law by marriage to his daughter Minnie Rose.


Ian Rose (great great grandson of William Henry Rose.)

William Henry Rose

Above photo showing William Henry Rose in his guards uniform. Taken about 1869, his year of enrolment in the army, before he became licensee.



BROWNING Thomas 1740+ Wingham Ale Licences 1740

FILE Edward 1841-51+ (also farmer age 61 in 1851Census) Bagshaw's Directory 1847

COLTHAM James 1854-74+ (also farmer age 58 in 1871Census) Melville's 1858

COLTHAM Mary 1881-95+ (widow age 72 in 1891Census)

ROSE William Henry 1896-Sept/1926 dec'd (age 62 in 1911Census) Kelly's 1899Kelly's 1903Post Office Directory 1913

CARLISLE Thomas Outram Crewe Sept/1926-Sept/1931 Dover Express

Last pub licensee had COLE Raymond Sept/1931-Mar/33 Dover Express

FILES Mr Lewis Sydney Mar/1933-Jul/41 Kelly's 1934Dover Express

TAYLOR Edward Bertram Jul/1941+ Dover Express

WHITE Jill 2001+



Wingham Ale Licences 1740From Wingham Division Ale Licences 1740 Ref: KAO - QRLV 3/1

Bagshaw's Directory 1847From Bagshaw Directory 1847

Melville's 1858From Melville's Directory 1858

Kelly's 1899From the Kelly's Directory 1899

Kelly's 1903From the Kelly's Directory 1903

Post Office Directory 1913From the Post Office Directory 1913

Kelly's 1934From the Kelly's Directory 1934

Dover ExpressFrom the Dover Express



If anyone should have any further information, or indeed any pictures or photographs of the above licensed premises, please email:-